Believe it or not the year 2015 is about to come to an end in the Valley of Philadelphia. That's right. 2015. Over. Soon.
Our fiscal year runs from August 1st to July 31st. Which means, August 1st will be day one of 2016 for the Valley of Philadelphia.
As such, soon it will be time to renew your dues to the Scottish Rite. I will be requesting the Supreme Council to run our 2016 dues bills next week. I try to do it early, as with 105 Valleys in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction and most of us having our years end at the same time, there can be a 'traffic jam' so to speak in getting our bills out to you.
As always, PLEASE wait until you receive your dues bill in the mail to pay your dues and REMEMBER to include your bill with your check when paying your dues. I know our online banking folks cannot do that and that's okay, BUT, PLEASE remember to put both your name and your 9-digit member number (it's on your dues card) as your account number on the check. If your bank won't allow both, PLEASE be sure to include your member number!
Speaking of dues cards; all of you should have the silver credit card-style dues card. This is your 'permanent' dues card. You will not receive another. Unless of course you've lost it and then all you have to do is call or email me and I will order you another post haste. Do NOT misunderstand the word 'permanent.' It doesn't mean that you no longer have to pay your dues (with exception of life members).
Now, for those that still haven't paid your 2015 dues; pay them soon or you will find yourself owing two years dues and in danger of being suspended after the May Annual Meeting. We don't want that and hope you don't either.
Of course you can also go to the Supreme Council web site (www.scottishritenmj.org) and pay your dues by credit card as well. Be advised that when you do that, the Supreme Council does deduct the amount of the credit card processing fee from your dues,thus giving the Valley, YOUR Valley, less money. If you do plan to pay by credit card, PLEASE wait until you receive your actual bill to do so. That is your guarantee that our new dues rate has been posted and you're not paying short a few bucks. Thank you.
And as always, PLEASE remember the ever dreaded word, 'Assessment' on your dues bill, is NOT, I repeat, NOT some evil conspiracy to extract money from you! No, it's not. It is your dues to the Supreme Council. Plain and simple. Just as your Lodge must pay dues to the Grand Lodge for you, we must pay them to Supreme Council. If you pay only the Valley dues, you will receive a second notice for the 'Assessment.'
And lastly, REMEMBER, we raised our dues at the Annual Meeting. You were there. You voted for it. If you weren't there; don't look at me. You had a chance to voice your opinion, you chose not to. Our 2016 dues will be $99. That breaks down as $72 for the Valley of Philadelphia (remember, you're paying for 4 Bodies!) and $27 for the Supreme Council.
Okay, so that wasn't totally, 'lastly.' If you find that paying your dues might be a difficulty; call me. We can work out a payment plan that works for you. 215-563-1814. Really. Call me. I'm a nice guy, despite this new 'nickname' that has arisen lately. We can make it work for you.